Is the punishment too low?

Is the punishment too low?

Australian prosecutors plan to challenge sentence against former Archbishop Wilson for abuse cover-up. The sentence was unreasonably low, the appeal said.

The 67-year-old Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, had been sentenced on 3. July by a Newcastle court to a sentence of 12 months in prison, which was commuted to house arrest in mid-August.

The court had found Wilson guilty of covering up abuse allegations by altar boys against priest James Fletcher as a young priest in Newcastle more than four decades ago. For duration of house arrest, Wilson must wear electronic ankle bracelets.

Resigned from office as archbishop under prere

On 30. August, Wilson, for his part, appealed his conviction. Appeal hearing to be held in October. However, the prosecution has managed to get its appeal heard first, according to Australian media. The first date to be set, he said, was 13. September has been set.

Under prere from now ousted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and wide swaths of the Australian media public, Wilson had been sentenced on 30. July resigned from his post as archbishop of Adelaide. The office had rested Wilson immediately after his conviction.

After the sentencing, Judge Robert Stone said Tuesday, according to media reports, in justifying the sentence, that the defendant had shown no remorse. The maximum statutory penalty for covering up sexual abuse is two years in prison.

Abuse victim asked for help in vain

The Catholic Bishops' Conference expressed hope in a press statement that the sentence against the Archbishop of Adelaide "will bring some measure of peace and healing to those who have been abused by the late priest James Fletcher".

Abuse victim Peter Creigh had told Australian media before the verdict that he wanted to see Archbishop Wilson in prison. Creigh had been abused several times by Fletcher in the 1970s as an altar boy in the Diocese of Newcastle.

The teenager asked the then young priest Wilson for help in vain. A prison sentence, Creigh said, would send a clear signal to church leaders that covering up sexual abuse would no longer be tolerated.

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